Region No 6 (Baitadi) entered the semi-finals of the Wai Wai U-19 Women’s National Tournament in expense of Region No 5 (Nepalgunj) following an six-wicket victory over Region No 2 (Birgunj) at the Pulchowk Engineering College grounds on Wednesday.
Baitadi needed a victory to go through as Group ‘B’ runners-up after Nepalgunj punished an indisciplined bowling attack from Region No 9 (Kanchanpur) with a 42-run victory to stay with four points on the board. Baitadi did what they needed stopping Birgunj at 99-4 before finishing at 100-4 in 17 overs.
Baitadi accumulated six points in the points table to follow Region No 4 (Bhairahawa) in the semi-final. Baitadi will now meet Group ‘A’ winners and defending champions Region No 1 (Biratnagar) and Bhairahawa will go up against Region No 7 (Janakpur) in the last four games.
Sita Shrestha’s 41 off 49 with two boundaries took Birgunj close to triple figures. Sita shared 43-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Rabina Ghimire who made 17 off 27 with one boundary. Divya Srivastav also made 14 runs for Birgunj.
Sapana Lama picked up two wickets for Baitadi for whom the top four batswomen contributed in the chase. Manju Bokati’s unbeaten innings was crucial as she shared a match-winning 43-run partnership for the third wicket with Samjhana Khadka (14 off 23).
Manju made 34 not out of 39 balls with three boundaries. Baitadi also received 27 extras. Sita, Subhadra Adhikari and Pushpa Aryal picked up a wicket each for Birgunj.
Nepalgunj posted a tournament-high 161-6 with Kanchanpur gifting away 55 extras including 32 wides. Barsha Thapa (26 off 41), Samana Pun (21 off 28), Sunita Sunar (21 not out off 15) and Kamala BC (19 off 16) also contributed to their cause.
Poonam Paswan picked up two wickets for Kanchanpur with Kabita Joshi, Bimala Bhatt, Bindu Rawal and Sita Khadka picking up a wicket each. Nepalgunj lost opener Nirmala Chan (five) early in their chase but Kabita Joshi and Bimala Bhatt (26) kept them in the game with a 71-run partnership but were folded for 119-4.
Kabita made 38 off 37 with five hits to the fence. Bindu and Poonam (nine) also added 38 runs for the fourth wicket but only for consolation. Bindu made 28 off 21 with four boundaries. Gita Gosai and Sanju Chaudhary picked up a wicket each for Nepalgunj.